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New Perspectives - Jun, 1998 Issue #52

Salt Lake City, Utah
Caroline Wolf, Admissions Director

“Second Nature is a seven week outdoor program designed to create an intensive initial impact for students, teach them positive behaviors and communication skills, and integrate strong work habits with effective interpersonal functioning. The first three weeks (this can vary according to student’s progress) is comprised of wilderness expeditions which teach the basic lessons of the outdoors—personal responsibility, awareness of how behavior impacts others, and the beginnings of self esteem based on internal feelings rather than in response to the external world. Focal points are survival skills, self- sufficiency, awareness of issues, and communication skills.” “The last four weeks takes the student from this awareness into positive personal and interpersonal habits. The students spend five days a week being trained for and completing volunteer work projects while focusing on teamwork, cooperation, self-esteem, resolution of issues, interpersonal skills, work ethic, and giving to others. They learn and practice work skills, something many of today’s youth are lacking, along with the interpersonal skills that help make them successful.” 

“Traditional and experiential therapy, in combination with structure and guidance, provide the other change elements. Highly skilled, experienced therapists and counselors work with the students by building relationships, teaching, role modeling, giving feedback, supporting, and exploring issues. Families are involved in treatment at home, and have weekly calls with their student’s therapist as well as two family therapy phone calls with the student and therapist during the work phase. Follow up aftercare is available both by phone with your therapist and by referral to support groups who use the parenting model Second Nature adheres to, “Parenting with Love and Logic” (Cline and Fay).”

“The Second Nature base camp is located in the High Uintas of Utah, one of the most beautiful mountainous areas in the West. Students spend two days a week at the base in wood heated tents, receiving therapy, academic assistance, medical checkups, showers, and preparing for the next week’s expedition.”

“Second Nature offers academic credit for independent study course work through Brigham Young University’s high school program. Students receive an assessment by the Academic Director upon admission, and that information is combined with examination of transcripts and conversation with parents prior to choosing a course. Students are tutored through the course by counselors, supervised by the Academic Director, and exams are administered while the student is in base camp.” 

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